Max Browne salvaged an admittedly “bleh” afternoon with a late scoring drive during Pittsburgh’s spring game Saturday. He threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Tre Tipton. Browne was 13 of 28 for 144 yards.
PITTSBURGH – Max Browne didn’t uproot himself and travel across the country to spend his one season in Pittsburgh as a backup quarterback.
It is why the USC graduate transfer headed from sunny Los Angeles to wintry Pittsburgh in January, eager to get a start on his last best shot at reviving a career that never bloomed with the Trojans.
Three months into his new gig, plenty of work remains to be done. Browne, a graduate of Skyline High School in Sammamish, salvaged an admittedly “bleh” afternoon with a late scoring drive during Pitt’s spring game Saturday. He threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Tre Tipton.
Browne finished 13 of 28 for 144 yards and the one score during an afternoon in which he was simultaneously the old guy and the new guy.
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Spring drills began with Browne making what he called “rookie” mistakes, particularly when it came to going through the pre-snap sequence. Yet over the course of 15 practices, he felt he built momentum heading into fall camp.
“I got that (pre-snap) part down and was just playing good ball after that, which is huge and why I came in here,” Browne said.
Browne started USC’s first three games last season and the team went 1-2. The Trojans replaced him with redshirt freshman Sam Darnold and won their last nine — including the Rose Bowl over Penn State — to finish 10-3.
Browne became something of a scapegoat. He told Foxsports.com the low point came “when the dialogue starts being ‘SC isn’t playing for a national championship because of Max Browne.’ That eats at you. I don’t think that was the case. I truly don’t.”
But he is aware there are skeptics about his ability.
“I’m not an idiot,” he told Foxsports.com. “Right now, I know what my story is. It is what it is. A lot of people are writing me off. I know that’s not (in line) with the work that I’ve put in or how this should end.
“I know that I can play at a high level, end on a high note and put myself in position to get drafted and have a career in the NFL.”